Motivation

The Beauty of Letting Go

Change

Do you order the same exact dish from your favorite restaurant every single time? Do you listen to the same music or watch the same movies? Yep, that was me – same dish, same style of dress in multiple colors, and 20 bottles of nail polish in similar shades of pink.

Yes, I was in the dreaded comfort zone, and loving every minute of it. But as wonderful and safe as comfort zones are, they can also be dangerous.

If we stay in our comfort zones for too long, we fail to grow – both personally and professionally – which is never a good thing.

A totally unexpected thing happened this past October. Continue reading


FLVS Full Time Class of 2016: Emma Cahoon

This article was originally written and published in the FLVS student newspaper, News in a Click.

Emma CahoonWhen Emma Cahoon first logged onto Florida Virtual School as a freshman, she was “amazed by the course opportunities.”

Now a graduate of FLVS Full Time, Cahoon clearly took advantage of the unique course offerings that FLVS provides with a schedule that consisted of five AP Classes and resulted in a diploma with 5 and ½ extra credits.

Cahoon plans to attend the University of Florida in the fall, and credits her success to the flexibility of FLVS. “I applied to 16 schools, which is a large time commitment,” said Cahoon. “I wouldn’t have been able to do that without FLVS.” Continue reading


FLVS Full Time Class of 2016: Bridget Forster

This article was originally written and published in the FLVS student newspaper, News in a Click.

Bridget ForsterFLVS Full Time Senior Class President, Bridget Forster, had a senior year that consisted of international tennis competitions and receiving the prestigious Wendy’s Heisman Scholarship Award, all while maintaining her 4.0 GPA.

Forster, an internationally ranked tennis player, said that she is thankful to FLVS for giving her the opportunity to live her dream of traveling as a competitive tennis player.

Because of the flexibility of FLVS, Bridget was able to follow an extensive training regimen while traveling around the world. “My favorite memory academically is definitely the teachers I got to work with,” said Forster. “I had a hectic schedule as a tennis player and I had the most understanding teachers who were so kind and helpful.” Continue reading


FLVS Student Succeeds Online and On the Ice

This article was originally written and published in the FLVS student newspaper, News in a Click.

Cailey WeaverAt FLVS, teachers and staff often act like proud parents, sharing the stories of exceptional students who take online courses.

Without a doubt, Cailey Weaver is one of those students. She is a talented and dedicated figure skater, who has already won numerous medals and awards in the United States — and she’s only a high school senior.

Weaver began skating at the age of two, when her mother put her into the sport. As the years went on, she enjoyed the creative aspect of figure skating, and with some help from her coach, eventually convinced her mom to let her compete. Continue reading


Are We Teaching Girls to Fear Failure?

Helping Girls Succeed through FailureMarch is Women’s History month, so what better time than now to ask a very important question:

Are we teaching our girls to fear failure?

Several months ago, my colleague Amy Lowyns, who teaches French for Florida Virtual School sent me an article on this very topic. Of course Amy knew how passionate I am about fostering a growth mindset in all of our students, but when she sent me this article, the idea that maybe we need to look deeper into what we are teaching our girls really lit a fire inside me.

We have been researching the idea that we are teaching our girls to fear failure ever since – and the research is hard-hitting, significant, and extremely eye-opening. Continue reading


Meet FLVS Student Zac

ZacMeet Florida Virtual School student Zac Pullam.

Zac has been with FLVS since the summer of 2014. He is a homeschool student, although he takes a pretty full load of classes with FLVS.

In January of 2013, Zachary and I (his mom) headed out to Hollywood for him to pursue his dream of becoming an actor – a decision his dad and I made together. We had the support of our community and his teachers, as well as his principal.

We withdrew him from his current elementary school in Tallahassee and began to homeschool him while in CA. We were there through June, then returned home to Florida for a few weeks. Continue reading


Students Need Champions

Rita PiersonAugust 26th is “Women’s Equality Day,” so what better time than today to reflect back on the women who have made a difference in this world.

For me, a very special woman comes to mind. She was a teacher from Texas who changed so many lives and affected so many other teachers and students. Her name was Rita Pierson. And though I never met her, listening to her talk about teaching and learning provided me with the foundation I try to base my work on every day.

Mrs. Pierson gave a Ted Talk back in May 2013 that now has almost 5 million views. In her talk she shared some of the best advice I’ve ever heard about teaching. Here are just some of the beautiful words Rita shared with us and just a few reasons why she is a woman I admire greatly.

Continue reading


Meet FLVS Student Kayla

FLVS Student Kayla

Kayla loved school.
She loved her teachers.
She loved her friends.

However, she really struggled with staying focused and was morally disappointed by the various distractions at her public school. She wanted to do more, see more, accomplish more – and she did.

Kayla researched Florida Virtual School, made phone calls, and spoke with her Dad and I about doing FLVS from home for her junior year of high school. Continue reading


FLVS Student Studies Sea Turtle Hatchlings

Sea Turtle Cover
It’s 11:00 pm and the moon is shining brightly in the nighttime sky over the south Florida coastline.

A large sea turtle races against time as she climbs the beach’s slopes to find the perfect nesting site. After an hour, she finds it and begins to dig a deep nest and lay her eggs. In the end, only one sea turtle out of a thousand hatchlings will survive to adulthood.

Loggerhead sea turtles are an endangered species threatened by predators, pollution, poaching, and habitat degradation. Last year, I decided to look at sea turtle hatches because of their importance in the marine life cycle. A factor that negatively affects the sea turtle’s nesting habitat is beach erosion. Continue reading


Preparing for College: Start Early, Be Consistent, Finish Strong

college prep
Many students fall into the trap of thinking college is something they need to start considering their senior year.

Students who wait until then, however, will be much more than a day late and a dollar short (more like four years too late and thousands of dollars short).

The fact is the time to start thinking about college is when you are selecting your freshman courses. It can be argued that it begins much earlier than this even – through the development of soft skills like time management, study habits, and a growth mindset for example, but that is a different post. Continue reading